Inspired by artists such as Kenny Chesney and having opened for Thomas Rhett, Cole Bradley has always had a passion and affinity for country music, and now, thanks to releases such as his new single “Happy Hour”, he’s well on his way to being a real star of the genre in his own right. ThisIsTheLatest caught up with Cole to talk song-writing, dream shows, and his ambitions for the next six months and beyond.
TITL: First of all, who exactly is Cole Bradley?
Cole Bradley: Great place to start! I am a country singer-songwriter from Calgary, Canada, who currently lives in Nashville, TN. I love to have a good time, live everyday like it’s my last and put out music that hopefully people can connect with.
TITL: When did you first realise you wanted to make music a career?
CB: I’ve always loved performing and songwriting but the moment I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in country music was when I was twelve years old. It was when I heard my first Kenny Chesney record and I was mesmerized by the way Kenny was able to make people feel through his songs. From that moment on, I wanted to be like Kenny and create music that everyday people could relate to.
TITL: Which three artists or bands would you say you’ve been and are most influenced/inspired by?
CB: Kenny Chesney, Garth Brooks, and Darius Rucker would have to be the top three country artists that inspire me. The reason being is that their songs tell the best stories. Their music makes people feel something!
TITL: What impact do they have on the music you make?
CB: Obviously, Kenny’s beach influence has impacted me in my song writing but ultimately, these three artists make me want to write better songs and push myself to new heights. In my opinion, Brooks, Chesney, and Rucker set the bar when it comes to releasing new and interesting songs, so my hope is that one day I can be on their level.
TITL: Where or how do you most often find inspiration for your songs?
CB: My best inspiration comes from real life experiences. I need to live my songs! If I can “live” and experience different things every day, that’s where I’ll find inspiration and that creates the best songs.
TITL: Tell me a little about your new single “Happy Hour.” Where did the idea for the track come from?
CB: The idea came from my first year of university in Canada. Every Thursday night my friends and I would huddle into my dorm room and we would play a game called “Power Hour” where each of us would do a shot of beer each minute for 60 minutes straight. We had a ton of fun to say the least! In the end, the song is all about just enjoy a few drinks with your best pals and getting into some fun afterwards!
TITL: Are there any tour dates/performances coming up?
CB: You bet! We have some shows planned for CMA Fest in Nashville this weekend. After that we have some real fun shows planned in Western Canada over the course of the summer as well as a few US dates that haven’t been announced just yet.
TITL: You’ve already opened shows for a number of country stars including Thomas Rhett, but if you could share a stage with three other bands or artists, living or dead, who would you pick and where would you play?
CB: Obviously, Kenny Chesney and Garth Brooks would have to be at the top of that list as they are my heroes! From the past, if I was a sixties kid I would want to hang with The Beatles – “Penny Lane” was one of the first songs I ever listened to and probably inspired my love for singing. Is there any band more legendary than them?
TITL: What has been the nicest thing someone has so far written or said about you, and what would be the ultimate compliment someone could give you?
CB: Wow, great question! I think some of the best compliments I have received are from people who have been following my career from the very start. Just to hear those people say that “you get better every time I hear you” or “you’ve grown as an artist” is such an affirmation that I’m on track. The ultimate compliment someone could give me is that my songs helped them in a tough time or that one of my songs made them think of a special memory. For me, if someone tells me that they relate to my music and connect with it – that’s the ultimate compliment in my books.
TITL: Given that bands and artists today all but HAVE to be on social media, how do you feel about the power the likes of Twitter and other sites can and do have in terms of helping an artist grow their fan-base and keep themselves current? Do you think there’s such a thing as too much of a social media presence?
CB: Social media is a great platform for artists. It has never been easier to build a brand, release new music and build an audience. Social media engagement is huge in helping an artist grow their fan-base. If you can master the art of having great communication with your fans – I believe you will find success. It’s hard to say if there is such thing as “too much of a presence” but I believe if you have quality content and your personality shines through then I think you are doing the right thing.
TITL: Finally then, what does the rest of the year in store for you and where would you like to see yourself five years from now? What do you want to tick off your bucket list?
CB: For the rest of the year, my plan is to keep building my audience, touring in new markets and improving my craft. I think if I can keep improving on my live show, songwriting and in the studio as well as making new fans then I’ll be very happy. My main goal is to able to share my music with as many people as possible and if I can have a career in the next five years where I am still making a living playing music – then that’s a huge win in my books!